The Reeler

Recent Comments

FILM ON THE WEB

A Girl and a Gun
A_Film_By
Ain't It Cool News
Alliance of Women Film Journalists
Anne Thompson
Art Fag City
ArtFlickChick
Better Than Fudge
Big Picture Big Sound
Bitter Cinema
Blank Screen
Blogumentary
Brian Flemming
Bright Lights
Celluloid Eyes
CHUD
Chutry Experiment, The
Cinecultist
Cinema Confidential
Cinema Eye
Cinema-Scope
Cinemarati
Cinematical
CineMe
Coming Soon
Cool Cinema Trash
Cyndi Greening
Dark Horizons
Defamer
Drew's Blog-O-Rama
Errata
Esoteric Rabbit
Film Detail
Film Experience, The
Film Journal, The
Film Journey
Film Stew
Film Rotation
Flickhead
GreenCine Daily
Greg.org
Hacking Netflix
Hammer to Nail
High Sign, The
Hollywood Elsewhere
House Next Door, The
IFC Blog, The
In the Company of Glenn
IndieScene Movie Marketing Blog
indieWIRE.com
indieWIRE Blogs
Jay's Movie Blog
JoBlo's Movie Emporium
Kaiju Shakedown
Kamera
Kinoeye
Like Anna Karina's Sweater
Last Night with Riviera
Light Sleeper
Long Pauses
Looker
Masters of Cinema
Matt Zoller Seitz
Midnight Eye
Milk Plus
Mind Jack
Metaphilm
Movie Blog, The
Movie City Indie
Movie Hole, The
Movie Poop Shoot
New York Cool
NY Post Movie Blog
News of the Dead
No More Marriages!
Notes From Underdog
Out of Focus
Persistence of Vision
Pullquote
Queer Film Review
Reel Roundtable
ScreenGrab
Screen Rush
Screener (Film Journal Int.)
Screening the Past
Self-Styled Siren
Short Sheet, The
Slant Magazine
Slant Magazine Blog
Still in Motion
Stranger Song, The
They Shoot Pictures, Don't They?
Tisch Film Review
Twitch
Vince Keenan
World Film (at About.com)
You Know, For Film
Zoom-In

The Reeler Blog

Once Twice: Carney's Gem Screens in NYC

The Reeler recently checked in with filmmaker John Carney, whose minimalist Irish musical Once had its New York premiere last night at New Directors/New Films. The ultra-endearing tale of a busker (Glen Hansard) who develops a musical -- and allusively romantic -- connection with a pianist (Markéta Irglová) in Dublin, the film claimed this year's World Cinema Audience Award at Sundance and was picked up for American distribution by Fox Searchlight (it opens May 18 in New York).


Once more: Glen Hansard and Markéta Irglová in John Carney's verite musical, screening in this year's New Directors/New Films festival (Photo: Fox Searchlight)

Carney had arrived in town late Wednesday for the festival's opening-night party and was preparing for his own opening when we spoke Thursday afternoon. "Obviously a New York audience is very clued in, very cine-literate, and I guess I hope they feel that the film works on its own terms," he told me about anticipating the event. "That's all I really care about. As long as it works on it's own terms, you know, I'm happy enough. The same way a pop song works on its own terms. It's not Bach, and it's not Mozart, but it works in its own context. And I guess ... the feedback I'd like to get is, 'We entered into a world we believed in and we were satisfied at the end.' That's my hope for it. I just hope that people get into that world and enjoy it. And if people have a musical bone in their bodies, I think they're pretty much going to like this film."

Not to shill, but I wouldn't disagree. Once is just that good -- self-possessed without being self-conscious, offering no apologies for its microbudget video grain or loose structure or high spirits. It doesn't make demands against genre incredulity, and it starts and ends so suddenly -- so authentically -- that it's virtually impossible to reject.

"I always thought I'd love to get my hands on a script that worked as a musical, or I'd love it if somebody brought me an idea that was a musical film," said Carney, a former bandmate of Hansard's in the Irish band The Frames and a filmmaker with four previous features behind him. "I love Gene Kelly and Frank Sinatra musicals and Guys and Dolls -- I'm a big fan of that type of film. So it's always been a challenge to me to make a musical that worked and that an audience could accept. Obviously, a younger audience is just not really going to accept people breaking into song anymore -- walking down the street and suddenly singing to each other. It was a real challenge to try and come up with a world where it was acceptable that people would sing and experiment with songs -- rehearse songs with each other and express themselves through music."

It worked for me, and you can check it out for yourself at Once's final ND/NF screening tonight at 8 at MoMA. Carney will return in May with Hansard and Irglová; look for more here around that time.

Posted at March 23, 2007 1:10 PM

Post a comment

(If you haven't left a comment here before, you may need to be approved by the site owner before your comment will appear. Until then, it won't appear on the entry. Thanks for waiting.)

TrackBack

TrackBack URL for this entry:
http://www.thereeler.com/cgi-bin/mt/mt-tb-AjOOtIAl.cgi/635

Search The Reeler
Join the Mailing List

RSS Feed

Archives

Send a Tip